New York Islanders: Going all in on Panarin and Bobrovsky

Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets. New York Islanders. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets. New York Islanders. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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New York Islanders
Lou Lamoriello, New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

New York Islanders President Lou Lamoriello is preparing to lead a Russian invasion of Brooklyn. According to various reports, he wants to add both UFA’s Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin.

The Barclays Center has been the exact opposite of what the New York Islanders expected when the moved into the building a few years back. Instead of a step forward for the franchise, it’s turned out to be a dead building devoid of much energy. That could all change when NHL free agency opens at midnight.

Instead of crickets chirping, like they have been, raucous crowds rooting for the home team, albeit in Russian, could be the new norm in 2019-20. That is if team President Lou Lamoriello’s plan comes together. He’s interested in bringing this year’s two highest-profile free agents to the New York Islanders, goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, and high scoring wing Artemi Panarin.

It’s a big money risk, but then again not only are these the best free agents now, but they could also be the best players available for the next few years. Should Uncle Lou bring the pair into the orange and blue fold, they will flock to the Barclays Center in droves from Brighton Beach.

Sergei Bobrovsky

Bobrovsky is a two-time all-star and two-time winner of the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie. It all clicked in for the Novokuznetsk, USSR native after he was traded from Philly to Columbus in the summer of 2012. Since then he’s been nothing short of fantastic for the Blue Jackets. In seven years, defending the CBus net, Bob has played 374 games, posting a 213-130-37 record with 2.41 goals against average, and .921 save percentage.

Bob would be a game changer in the Islanders goal. Last year’s combo of Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss was the best in the NHL. Bobrovsky, however, is a true number one netminder. Capable of putting a team on his back and carrying them when necessary. He is exactly the type of goalie, good teams want to lean on during the postseason.

According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the 30-year-old is looking for a seven-year contract in the neighborhood of $10M per. The money is fair, but the term is excessive. There is room for a bit of negotiation.